Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We're All Artists

We had a rainy Friday at school, so I cut out some giant paper dolls from a roll of butcher paper and had my Senior Kindergarten students paint self-portraits. They worked away at them on and off all day. 

The joy of watching children painting is their complete absorption and lack of judgment. They joy for them is in the feeling of the paint being smoothed across the paper, the textures of the brushstrokes, the mixing of two colours into another, and the coming to life of an image on what was once a blank space.

One of the children claimed, "We can be artists someday!"

I replied, "We ARE artists...look at the art you all just created!"
Sometimes I need to urge myself to get into the mess of painting at home (when I do it so often at work). Their task was to create a picture of themselves with Nanny for her birthday. 

Their focus and delight in colour is a joy to behold. I love seeing how they develop in their skills, particularly in painting humans. Jude has eased away from the detail he used to add, and now makes stick people with no features or details. Too many plans for adventures in his head, or he just imagines them there. My husband and I (we both teach Kindergarten) marvel at how drawing development relates to reading readiness. 

Did you know that the addition of the ground or sky indicates reading readiness? Margot has just started adding grass, clouds, etc., and is eager to practise her letters and letter sounds. I see it in my classroom all the time; children who represent people by drawing just a head, or an "open hairpin" (ball with two sticks for legs) are generally not ready for reading yet.
While it may be fascinating pedagogically and developmentally from my perspective, for them it's just what it is: art, being created with joy and without judgment.

6 comments:

  1. I love watching my little man create, pure joy for both of us.

    And thanks for the reading readiness tip, that is very cool!

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  2. We ARE all artists!!! I love seeing my own kids immersed in their art. It always brings a sense of peace to the moment. Rainy days are perfect art days!!!
    have a great rest of the week
    lisa

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  3. Wow, so cool!! Didn't know about the sky and grass thing - I will watch my little one over the next year or so for signs. So far it's just a circle with eyes and a smile (no body) :)

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  4. Stephanie, I have been so bloody busy with our school routine (schooling 5 at home now) and getting ready for a First Holy Communion for one and the Changing of the Wardrobe for the cooler months and all of it, I haven't really looked at any of my favorite blogs in ages--got to something like 157 posts in Google Reader!

    Anyway, what I am trying to say is that this morning I read through the last few weeks of your posts and I missed a few really good, poignant ones on which I would love to have commented. I understand tired. I understand clingy 3 year olds and potty training and laundry. God bless you; I hope you get some rest soon and have a nice day of tea, music, knitting and grown-up company very soon!

    So funny, your description of people drawn as "open hairpins", as that is where Gemma is right now!

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  5. Those pieces of art are gorgeous and I'm sure Nanny was THRILLED. I think I am going to get some new paint supplies for my growing girls, and for the toddler to try out, too. Even me! We ARE all artists! Your and R's students are so lucky!

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  6. I found this post hard to read....too many big words that were hard to pronounce. Loved the pictures though ;-)

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